That looked like a pretty cool outing you guys had with the Bray family, although I must say, I bet some of the Mexican food I eat here is ten times better than the Mexican food you ate in the city!!!! Sister Torres, the less active that was recently activated (she actually bore her testimony in church on Sunday!!!!) is a beastly cook. Like, seriously beastly. Every single time we get to eat at her house, which is now almost every time we go, I eat so much that I just want to keel over and render myself unconscious. I have acquired a new favorite Mexican dish which can be gross if you don't make it right: Tacos de Cabeza which translated is, head tacos or face tacos. It is basically all of the meat on the face and head of the cow (I'm pretty sure the brain isn't included) and it is delicious. Whenever I tell members or any Hispanics that I like it, they are always shocked because no gringos (white people) like food like that. As a matter of fact, a lot of Mexicans don't like it either. I love em' though. With a fat scoop of cilantro, onions and homemade salsa on a hot corn tortilla.... delishhhhh. Maybe Dad can look up a recipe and see if he wants to try and make it (hahaha).
This week has been pretty awesome. We were able to go to the temple with two of our investigators -- Addah, Ruth (sisters) and their 5 kids. The Relief Society President took them in her van. We watched "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration," showed them the artwork, and talked about the purpose and importance of temples. They really, really enjoyed it. We were able to set a baptismal date with Addah on Saturday night when we read through 2 Nephi 31*, which expounds on the doctrine of Christ. She accepted the date for the 29th of October without hesitating. She is really solid and really humble. She has started to trust us a lot as representatives of Christ. Last night she texted us about her economical worries. Last week we had to help her get some diapers for the youngest of her 4 kids, Mike. She is currently living with Ruth, her sister, and Ruth's husband Enoc who is interested but isn't really willing to give up some things to keep the commandments. Ruth is interested too, but her husband, Enoc, is kind of controlling and potentially abusive so he doesn't let Ruth come to church sometimes. It is a really unfortunate situation.
Last night we almost got jumped by some black dudes in an ally behind the canal at 8pm. We helped a guy carry his groceries from the street, but when we got to the canal he told us to wait with the groceries while he goes and gets some people to help him carry them to his house. I immediately thought that was sketchy and remembered the time when a homeless guy asked Dad for some money for a hot dog on the train and dad told him to go wait by the doors so he didn't have to get his wallet out right in front of him. I looked at my companions (one from Utah and the other from Idaho, who aren't even thinking there was a problem) each holding 4 bags of groceries while straddling their bikes, and I thought we were in a pretty vulnerable position. I told them to set the groceries on this elevated concrete slab so we didn't have to have any up close contact with that guy and whoever he was going to bring back. They were confused and didn't know why I told them to do it, but they obeyed. We waited about 5 more minutes when we finally saw him come out of the complex with a 6'5" 300-pound black dude. They started to walk toward us (and not the groceries we had placed on the concrete, which I knew they saw because the bags were right under a light post). When they got about 30 feet away, I just told them to have a good night and started to ride off on my bike. My companions realized how sketchy the situation was at that point and followed me, later sharing with me their gratefulness that I was from Connecticut and didn't have such a naive perspective of people in the ghetto.
Hope everything is good at home. The pictures I sent are of me and Luis (one of Patty and Luis' kids), and a man with a long white beard and blue helmet that we often see, and me in my frustration during some bike repairs.
*2 Nephi, Chapter 31
(Nephi tells why Christ was baptized—Men must follow Christ, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end to be saved—Repentance and baptism are the gate to the strait and narrow path—Eternal life comes to those who keep the commandments after baptism. About 559–545 B.C.)
1 And now I, Nephi, make an end of my prophesying unto you, my beloved brethren. And I cannot write but a few things, which I know must surely come to pass; neither can I write but a few of the words of my brother Jacob.
2 Wherefore, the things which I have written sufficeth me, save it be a few words which I must speak concerning the doctrine of Christ; wherefore, I shall speak unto you plainly, according to the plainness of my prophesying.
3 For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.
4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.
5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!
6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?
7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.
8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.
9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.
10 And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?
12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.
13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.
15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.
17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and abaptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.